Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-XX-6-14
Wed., June 14, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA PROPOSES $49,600 IN PENALTIES AGAINST A CONTRACTOR AT A HOUSTON JACK-IN-THE BOX CONSTRUCTION SITE
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Guerrero Plastering in Houston for 15 alleged safety and health violations and proposed penalties of $49,600 announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
Guerrero Plastering was a subcontractor performing work for Regas Contracting, Inc., the prime contractor, at a Jack-In-The Box construction site at 3134 FM 528 in Friendswood, Texas.
The alleged violations were discovered during an unprogrammed inspection which began Feb. 29 when framers/plasterers were working on unsafe, inadequately constructed scaffolding with no fall protection. OSHA's standards require that fall protection be provided for employees working on a scaffold over 10 feet in height.
Guerrero Plastering was cited for eight serious violations, and seven repeat violations, including two that had been cited twice previously.
Some of the eight serious violations included the employees not being protected by protective helmets while working in areas where there was a possible danger of head injury from falling objects; no fire extinguishers being available on-site; the scaffold platforms were not at least 18 inches wide; each scaffolding platform did not extend over the centerline of its support by at least 6 inches; each scaffold over 10 feet was not equipped with a guardrail system; employees had not received scaffolding training; employees were not wearing fall protection when working on a roof over 6 feet; employees had not received fall protection training; and scaffolds were not erected, moved, dismantled, or altered only under the supervision and direction of a competent person qualified.
A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The seven repeat violations included the employer not maintaining an inspection program conducted by a competent person that examined job sites, materials and equipment on a frequent and regular basis; the platforms on working levels of the scaffolds were not fully planked or decked between the front upright and the guardrail supports (cited twice previously); unstable objects were used to support scaffolds and platform units; access ladders were not provided to and used by employees (cited twice previously); scaffolding and scaffolding components were not inspected by a competent person for visible defects before each work shift; and guardrail systems were not installed on the ends of platforms.
A repeat violation is one in which the employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition.
The Houston South OSHA office has developed a local emphasis program to address unsafe construction work sites. OSHA dedicates significant resources to address the safety and health concerns in the construction industry.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the nearest OSHA office. OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-6742.
Guerrero Plastering has 15 working days, from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal hearing with the Houston South Area Director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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